Take Five With Dan Dorff
Though these great pieces of music were incredibly inspiring in their own way the jazz trio was a place where all of these great sounds could be achieved in their own way spontaneously Though I wouldn't realize it until much later, my interest in language classes in school ran neck and neck with my love for improvised music. I was fascinated by spoken language; the sounds of words, the logic of syntax and grammar was the only thing that really interested my in school other than my musical studies. Language is something that we riff on every day, therefore it is no surprise to me now that I had such a voracious appetite for improvised music.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
watching the tour manager bribe a Serbian border patrol officer with merch at 5 in the morning was interesting.
My favorite venues... well they've all got their charms and blemishes. Terry's Turf Club in Cincinnati has the best burgers ever made, and we couldn't play hard enough for the regulars. People came to hear us do what we do, not to hear us pander to what we think their tastes are. (a skill that has sadly become second nature to most jobbing bandleaders) That was my favorite regular venue.
I recently played a festival in Lausanne that wins the overall prize for hospitality/ sound/ audience... monitors were perfect, 12 thousand people showed up, and the aftershow meal was mindblowing.
CDs you are listening to now:
Sam Cooke - Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963
Jean Ritchie - Sings the Songs of her Kentucky Mountain Home 1952
James Brown - Say it Live and Loud
Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis - Nefertiti
Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Toots Thielemans - Do Not Leave Me
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Struggling economically, thriving artistically.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
I don't get too hung up on the word "jazz." There are many musical threads intertwining and cross pollinating these days... We shouldn't get to hung up on words and what is or isn't a certain thing... that's a job for writers and critics, not me.
What is in the near future?
Working on a trio album that will be a follow up to NOW! which I finished last year. I am also working on a Folk music project that involves members of my immediate and extended family.